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Ordinary Watercourse Consenting

On 6th April 2012, a further phase of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (FWMA) came into effect. Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council working as a Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFA), took on responsibilities from Natural Resources Wales with regard to ordinary watercourse consenting.

The purpose of ordinary watercourse regulation is to control certain activities that may have an adverse impact on flood risk and the environment. MTCBC is now required to ensure this, along with having due regard for other acts and regulations.

It is recommended that Landowners and Developers contact MTCBC as early as possible on any proposal, allowing sufficient time before work is to start.

What is an ordinary watercourse?

Any ordinary watercourse is defined as a watercourse that does not form part of a main river. This includes streams, drains, culverts, dikes, ditches and passages through which water flows. Natural Resources Wales will continue to consent on Main Rivers.

What requires consent?

The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (FWMA) is more widely drawn than the previous regulations. Consent is required for: -

  • Any alteration likely to affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse;
  • Any culvert; and
  • Temporary as well as permanent works.

If you have received consent from the Natural Resources Wales prior to April 2012, this is still valid. Likewise if enforcement action has commenced from Natural Resources Wales, they will continue to be responsible for these cases.

How is consent administered?

To obtain consent, a fee of £50 per structure is to be paid. When a fully complete application is received, Applications have a statutory 2 month determination period and an application will be granted, denied or granted with conditions. A timescale will also be given for the works to take place in.

What is the Applicant Responsible for?

The applicant is required to arrange the works so that there is no increase in flood risk to third parties and to ensure they have consent and permission of any land owners and occupiers affected by the works.

Ordinary Watercourse Consent from MTCBC does not remove from the applicant the necessity for other permits, licences or approvals or permissions. For example, it is the applicant’s responsibility is to ensure design and construction is in accordance to the latest Construction Design and Management Regulations. It is also the applicants’ responsibility to consult Natural Resources Wales if there is a protected species on site.

Making your application

Download application form and guidance below to assist your application. 

MTCBC encourages the public to take part in discussions with us in advance of the consent application. By having a pre-application discussion, options can be considered that do not require consent that has no adverse effect on the watercourse.

Applications should be sent either by post or by email to the addresses below. If you would like a pre-application discussion regarding your application, also use the telephone number below.

Gregory Baker
SAB Officer
Unit 5, Triangle Business Park
Merthyr Tydfil
CF48 4TQ

Phone: 07759 137063


Payments can be made over the phone by Credit/Debit card on 07568 100588. 

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